Western Leader : December 21st 2010
4 WESTERN LEADER, DECEMBER 21, 2010 NEWS Prices are based on payments by direct deposit through jetstar.com. For all card payments an additional $2 per passenger per domestic flight and $5 per passenger per international flight will apply. #Fortravelbetween18Marchto25Mayandfrom3Augustto 24August2011(flightscommence18March2011).*Fortravelbetween1Februaryto27March2011.†NotavailableonFridaysandSundays.Faresarewebonly,onewayandnon-refundable.Limitedchangesarepermitted,chargesapply.Availabilityislimited(notavailableon allflightsordays).^Carry-onbaggagelimits,includingsizerestrictions,willbestrictlyapplied.Passengerswithmorethantheapplicablecarry-onbaggageallowancewillneedtocheckinbaggageandchargeswillapply.Seejetstar.comfordetails.Beforeyoubookyour international flight, and before you travel, check current Government travel advisories on www.safetravel.govt.nz. Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd. JET0087A/497/ASN $299 # Carry-on baggage only SINGAPORE Auckland direct to and direct to: SYDNEY $139 * WELLINGTON $39 *† MELBOURNE $149* JETSTAR'S SALE CHRISTMAS CRACKER Flights from Auckland to Singapore are operated by Jetstar Airways for Jetstar Asia (3K) and commence 18 March 2011, are subject to regulatory approval. Fares are one way JetSaver Light ^ fares -- carry-on baggage only. JetSaver fares with 20kg checked baggage can be booked for $10 more per person per domestic flight and $20 more per person per international flight. For more details and to book visit jetstar.com. Sale on now until midnight Thursday 23rd December 2010, unless sold out prior. Sale may be extended. *conditions apply, other tour dates/prices available Inclusions: Witness the sound and light show in front of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, tour the Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Luxor, Queen Hatshepsut temples, the Colossi of Memnon and visit Tutankhamen's tomb, enter the Egyptian Museum, enjoy guided visits to the Nile temples of Kom Ombo, Edfu and Philae, enjoy a luxurious Nile River cruise between Luxor and Aswan. Price based on 05 Sept 2011 departure. (Tour code TCNC) HEART OF EGYPT 10 day tour from $4,495*pp twin share (incl. land and domestic Egypt flights) Let United Travel Westgate take you to the heart of Egypt Westgate Shopping Centre (next to Paper Plus) Ph: 09 831 0250 www.unitedtravel.co.nz GLS_03 Newmarket Connection: 4th lane extension Southern Motorway closures Stay informed: Freephone: 0508 CONNECT (266 6328) View project footage & photos: www.nzta.govt.nz/newmarketconnection The southbound lanes of the Southern Motorway (SH1) between Market Road and Greenlane will be closed each night from 8.30pm to 8am on 2, 3, 4 January. Please follow the signposted detour along Great South Road. The NZTA thanks Aucklanders for their patience and support, and wishes all motorists and local residents a safe and happy holiday. It's true -- I mean would I lie? He was sitting gloomily in his vehicle in the crowded carpark, dressed pretty strangely for the weather and looking as if he wanted to talk. He looked so familiar I thought I knew him from way back. He gave every impression of recognising me. My heart sank when he spoke. Gotta bit of a prob- lem. Not another plea for help. I knew then I d made a mistake with my cheery Merry Chr- istmas . But there was no way out. He snorted and went on. How was I to know what the funny lettering meant so I parked here because I had a gig inside. It s one of my regulars for this time of the year. Another snort, louder and more emphatic than the last. Knew when I got up this morning that it wasn t going to be one of my good days. The wife started straight away about being left with all the little ones. Same as last year she said. And all the ones before. It s all very well for you, she said. And she raved on about how the lawn always looked shaggy at this time of the year because I was never around and how I seemed to thrive on all the atten- tion and how she had to stay home and take all the calls and sort through the mail. I said it went with the job. And that just started her off again, how thoughtless I d become and how I just didn t seem to understand or take into account all the extra things she had to do. Then it got really rough. She said I was so unthinking that the box of chocolates I d brought back on my last run had a best before December 2008 on it and was that all I thought of her? I couldn t even remem- ber her at this time of the year she said and she d noticed that an old box left over from some time or other had disappeared from the back of the cupboard. And didn t I realise she noticed little things like that. And while she was at it, hadn t I noticed how absolutely filthy the hand basin was after me trimming my beard. All because I d forgot- ten to make an appoint- ment at the barber and that I seemed to think I was someone who could just walk in like some A-lister -- whatever that is -- and crash the queue. She said it was ironic that of all people I didn t realise Christmas was a special time and busy with it. And then there was the mess I d left in the shed when I mended the vehicle last night and seemed to have wiped my dirty hands on the special tablecloth she d got out for Christmas dinner. He snorted yet again and paused -- but not for long. Christmas dinner! she said. I suppose it s going to be like last year when you fell asleep over the lovely meal I d cooked. And that reminded her -- as if she d ever forgotten -- about my promise to get her a decent stove before the next time. And this was the next time and where was it? Said I had this repu- tation of being so good at getting things for other people just because they asked for it. What about her? That was the stage I offered to take some of the little people with me for the day and give her a break. She came over all sweet at that and kissed me, wished me a real happy Christmas and I promised I d get them back early. Then what? When I finished my shift, the little ones are all in the two dollar shop buying me things I ll never use and don t want. I came out here and look what I found. He pointed with a podgy hand at something below him. It was a sort of locked thingee, like the wheel clamp you ve got when you haven t got a wheel. The parking people said they d been waiting for me since the last time and won t unlock it until I pay 100 or something in cash. Really big snort this time, like an explosion that would have gone down well on Guy Fawkes Day. Cash? How much cash would I be carrying the way she s been spend- ing these last weeks? I was bending over the device, rattling the chain, when a sweet voice came over my shoulder Merry Christmas, can I help? She was a sweetie who must have been going to or coming from a party wearing lots of sparkling bling and even had a wand thing with a star on it. As I stepped back she tapped the device with her wand and, Christmas miracle, it fell off. That was great, I said. You should be a Christmas Fairy. That soft voice again from over my shoulder. But I am -- hadn t you realised? When I straightened up, she d gone. I walked down past a few cars to see if I could see her but she d disappeared. When I looked back so had the bearded old guy in the strange red gear and the weird vehicle. And the two dollar shop was empty. All that was left was a strange-looking open clamp, a screwed-up parking ticket and what I assume were reindeer droppings. I mean, I wouldn t have dreamed it, would I?
December 17th 2010
December 23rd 2010